Texas Governor Rick Perry is not backing down in a dispute with the federal government over Planned Parenthood.
The Republican governor wrote a blunt letter to President Obama, saying that Texas would pay for women's health programs on its own if the federal government cut off funding. Perry said the Obama administration is about to make the move because Texas wants to eliminate women's health support for Planned Parenthood.
"The federal government should not be in the business of protecting abortion providers at the expense of the health of Texas women," Perry wrote . "Texans send a substantial amount of our tax dollars to Washington, D.C., and it is unacceptable that your administration is denying Texas taxpayers the use of those dollars to fund this program simply because of your pro-abortion agenda."
Planned Parenthood clinics now provide 40 percent of the state's services for poor women, which include cancer screenings and contraception, notes The Texas Tribune . None of those Texas clinics, according to the Tribune, performs abortions.
The governor and Planned Parenthood disagreed on whether there are enough other providers to fill in if the state ban on Planned Parenthood funding takes effect Wednesday, as scheduled. Perry said there are 4,600 providers at 25 sites willing to step in, reports The Austin American Statesman , but Planned Parenthood officials said it is already difficult for poor women to get the services.